Robbie Lawler made a sudden impact at 170 pounds. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Outside of the historic main event at UFC 157 “Rousey vs. Carmouche” on Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., the biggest underdog was Robbie Lawler at +325.
Josh Koscheck, a -425 favorite, tried to work his wrestling, but Lawler answered his first takedown with his butterfly guard and then sprawled in response to the second. A hard left hand to Koscheck’s temple followed by some heavy ground-and-pound put a stop to their welterweight showcase, with Lawler walking away with a $50,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus for his efforts.
A former EliteXC champion, Lawler had not set foot inside the Octagon since a submission loss to the late Evan Tanner in 2004 and had not won inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship since outpointing Chris Lytle at UFC 45 in 2003.
Meanwhile, Nah-Shon Burrell was originally supposed to face Yuri Villefort at Strikeforce “Melendez vs. Healy,” the ill-fated event that was to have taken place on Sept. 29, 2012. When an injury forced “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5 finalist Manny Gamburyan out of his bout with Chad Mendes, it opened a door for Burrell to meet Villefort in a welterweight affair at UFC 157.
Burrell was overweight and entered the cage a slight underdog at +100, with Blackzilians prospect Villefort at -130. Villefort briefly worked for a rear-naked choke in the first round, but Burrell managed to escape. The 21-year-old Brazilian continued firing submissions at his opponent, including a heel hook that Burrell answered with a flurry of punches. Unanswered strikes proved far more impressive in the judges’ eyes than submission attempts, and the man they call “The Rock-N-Rolla” earned a unanimous decision for his seventh win in eight fights.
Elsewhere, Kenny Robertson (+135) was a slight underdog in his undercard battle with Brock Jardine (-165) but made a resounding statement.
After a rear-naked choke proved unsuccessful, the Bellator MMA veteran transitioned to an unconventional kneebar, which targeted Jardine’s hamstring and finished the fight 2:57 into round one. Robertson pocketed a $50,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus in wake of his first UFC victory.
Finally, the prelims also gave rise to the fourth UFC 157 upset, as Canadian kickboxer Sam Stout (+132) eked out a split verdict over AMC Pankration export Caros Fodor (-162).
All three rounds were closely contested, and the two lightweights spent much of their time in the clinch. However, Stout mixed in some effective grappling with his trusted standup game and picked up his sixth win in his past nine appearances. Fodor has lost his last two fights.